To say I enjoyed an evening of hearing Deva Premal, Miten and Manose in concert at the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts is to speak in understatement. I had heard Deva’s music on a CD and liked it – a lot. But live, in concert with Miten and Manose, it was a spiritual experience. Truly.
I’m no music critic and this is not a critique. It is a testimony of what music can do to refresh your soul.
Deva’s voice is gentle and the sound is pure. Miten plays guitar and sings with a voice that sooths and delights and there is a wonderful, humorous, gentle and loving interface between them. They seem to know intuitively what the other is thinking and wanting. And Manose? He plays on three different bamboo flutes and produces tones that seems to come directly from God. He also plays all the other little instruments that give some sound effects although I don’t know what they are called. And watching him gives you an idea of what absolute joy looks like. He is a skilled musician and a delightful entertainer.
Unlike other “entertainers” they asked for no applause but rather to let the music trail off into the silence and let the silence also be a part of the evening. They sang primarily mantras which they termed love songs to God. And while they sang in Sanskrit, it was easy to understand that it was exactly that.
Yesterday had been a very tense and intense day and I was almost too tired to go and thought I might be too “frazzled” to really enjoy it. I was wrong. Within minutes I felt my body relax and open to the experience of their music. My heart opened and my mind quieted. I felt like I was a parched desert finally feeling the soothing nourishment of a soft, gentle but wonderfully adequate rain that washed away the debris and left me feeling restored. When it ended I realized that my mind chatter had stopped and my mind had been quite for quite some time. Others that I talked with afterwards said they felt the same way and even though the concert lasted for three hours we could have stayed much longer soaking in the healing sounds.
I know it sounds a bit strange to say that three hours of music most of which is sung in a language no one in the audience understands is so wonderful. However, it seems to me it isn’t designed as an evening of music appreciation but more as an evening of worship and awakening.
About mantras they say “Mantras also have a foundation in science. Certain sounds create certain responses in the body, and mantras have been scientifically demonstrated to instill a sense of well-being. They are also show to be a vibrant force for healing. Singing mantras vibrates the cells in our bodies , charging them with energy and promoting physical healing” It did that.
One of the last mantras of the evening was the Gayatri Mantra which I have sung many times at different gatherings. This time I felt it as we sang it repeatedly with Deva and Miten. A translation of this mantra is
Through the coming, going, and the balance of life
the essential nature which illumines existence is the adorable one.
May all perceive through subtle intellect the brilliance of enlightenment.
This is self-improvement at its best. I believe we all felt more balanced as we left the auditorium and it seemed as if we had moved with the mantra toward the brilliance of enlightenment.
Thank you Deva, Miten and Manose for leading us there.